Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Before heading out to do any holiday shopping, take a moment to think about your safety.

Mall parking lots can attract thieves and other unsavory characters. The Franklin County Sheriff's Office recommends the following safety measures:

Park your vehicle under or near security lights during hours of daylight. If you know your shopping trip will last past dark, park your vehicle under one of the big parking lot security lights so that when you return to your vehicle in the evening, the area will be adequately lit. Parking your vehicle under these lights will decrease your odds of being a victim of attack.

Only carry as much money as you actually need. When you're planning to use cash for your purchases, try to figure out how much money you will need before you head out. This will ensure you do not carry large amounts of cash.

Make sure you check your credit card balances. When your shopping trip is completed, check your credit card balances against your purchases to track any unauthorized purchases to your cards. Many credit card companies offer fraud protection against fraudulent credit card activities involving your credit cards. You should be aware that debit cards do not have the same protections as credit cards.

Hide your packages from view. When possible, use your vehicle's trunk to secure your packages. Otherwise, place your packages as low as possible in the back seat underneath a blanket to conceal them from view.

-Melissa Kossler Dutton